Roger Waters’ son Harry has revealed that his father fired him from playing in his band, and he is now planning on playing his dad’s music in a Pink Floyd tribute band instead.
In an interview with Rolling Stone, the younger Waters claimed that it was in late 2016 that the former Pink Floyd bassist let him know that he would no longer be required to play keyboards in his dad’s touring band.
“I was fired, it was pretty miserable,” Harry said.
“I think he just wanted a change of blood, something new, something fresh. I’m not sure of his exact reasoning, but everyone except two people got fired. But the other guys that got the sack weren’t his son, so it was doubly hurtful for me.”
Roger Waters CREDIT: Jim Dyson/Getty Images
Harry had been part of his dad’s band for 14 years, but was dropped ahead of the ‘Us + Them’ tour. Nevertheless, Harry has continued to play the material that he is so familiar with, recently completing a tour with Les Claypool’s Fearless Flying Frog Brigade, covering Floyd’s album ‘Animals’ in full.
And now, Harry has accepted an offer to play three shows with Floyd tribute act Brit Floyd, alongside one of the band’s former background singers Durga McBroom and a former saxophonist Scott Page.
“I’ve never met any of them, but I’ll just turn up and play,” he said. “I’ve been playing this music for 30 years or so. I think we’ll be OK without rehearsal. I think we all know the material pretty well.”
In the same interview, Harry also addressed his dad’s recent political controversies.
Last week, a court in Chile ruled that Roger Waters’ upcoming concerts in the country can go ahead, despite attempts to block them over accusations of anti-Semitism.
Waters, who has repeatedly denied accusations of being anti-Semitic, had been challenged by the Representative Committee of Jewish Entities in Chile over bringing his ‘This Is Not A Drill Tour’ to Santiago, citing what they describe as Waters’ “history of incitement to antisemitic hatred”.
However, the bid was dismissed by the city’s Court of Appeals, who ruled that “no facts have been mentioned that could constitute a violation of the constitutional guarantees”.
In response, Harry has said: “It’s just not true at all that he’s an antisemite.”
“People say, ‘Oh, he dresses up in an SS uniform, and he has a Star of David on the [inflatable] pig. And I just want to say, ‘You fuckin’ idiots. He’s been doing that for 40 years. It’s satire.’ There’s also a Mercedes sign, a hammer and sickle, and a dollar sign on the pig … He’s bringing to light all the evils of the world. But people confuse that and think he’s an antisemite, which is really stupid.”
Roger Waters attends the “Roger Waters Us + Them” Photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 06, 2019 in Venice, Italy. Credit: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
In April, Waters won a legal battle to play a concert in Frankfurt after it was initially cancelled over claims of anti-Semitism.
The German court said that despite his show making use of “symbolism manifestly based on that of the National Socialist regime”, the tastelessness of which it said was exacerbated by the choice of the Festhalle as the venue due to its historical background, the concert should be “viewed as a work of art” and that there were not sufficient grounds on which to justify banning Waters from performing.
The most crucial point, according to the court, was that the musician’s performance “did not glorify or relativise the crimes of the Nazis or identify with Nazi racist ideology”, and nor was there any evidence that Waters used propaganda material in his show.
Earlier this month, Waters said he wondered if the “fishy” attacks perpetrated by Hamas on October 7 could have been a “false flag operation”. He claimed the massacre, which killed 1,400 Israelis, was “thrown out of all proportion” and questioned the origins of the attack.
When asked if the attack could be “justified”, he said: “We don’t know what they [Hamas] did do during the invasion.”
“Was it justified for them to resist the occupation? Yeah,” he said. “But again, it’s what you said, it’s the Geneva Conventions. They are absolutely, legally and morally bound to resist the occupation since 1967. It’s an obligation.”
He added that while he would “condemn” war crimes “if” they were committed, he believed the massacre “was thrown out of all proportion by the Israelis making up stories about beheading babies.”
Waters was recently the subject of a documentary, The Dark Side Of Roger Waters, which was produced by the Campaign Against Antisemitism and collates various incidents of alleged antisemitism perpetrated by the musician.
Rogers has spoken out against the documentary with a post to his official website, dismissing the project as “a flimsy, unapologetic piece of propaganda”.
“All my life I have used the platform my career has given me to support causes I believe in,” Waters wrote. “I passionately believe in Universal Human Rights. I have always worked to make the world a better, more just and more equitable place for all my brothers and sisters, all over the world, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or nationality, from indigenous peoples threatened by the US oil industry to Iranian women protesting for their rights.”
The documentary makers put their findings to Waters but he reportedly did not respond. NME has reached out to representatives of Waters for comment on both of the allegations outlined above, but they are yet to respond.
Waters has repeatedly denied all accusations of antisemitism and explained that his disdain is towards Israel, not Judaism. He also accused Israel of “abusing the term anti-Semitism to intimidate people like me into silence”.